Unifying Your Messaging

Written by Caroline Legrand
Edited by Allison Herrera

Having a unified message across your brand sounds pretty basic, right? We at Uptown Girl Media agree; but, maintaining a congruent message can become a hassle when advertisements are broadcasted across multiple platforms.

Think about it: we create and post varying content for different social media platforms, and that content differs from non-digital content. The same video posted to Instagram will not have the same success or impact on Twitter or on a commercial. Why? Each platform contains a difference audience.

Unifying your brand message is imperative to the success of your business. By creating and sharing content that is representative of your brand across all platforms, viewers will recognize your content and your brand awareness will increase.

When it comes to keeping your message in line with your brand values across all social media platforms, an English realty company called the Michael Graham Estate Agents takes the gold. One tactic that Michael Graham practices is using their social media accounts as a portfolio for their work. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love a feed full of beautiful places and spaces?

By committing to unify their brand messaging, Michael Graham was able to reach new goals.

  • Michael Graham saw a 100% increase in monthly website viewers,
  • A 10% click-through rate on social campaigns, and
  • A $600,000 shift from print to digital advertisements.

Before Michael Graham successfully unified their messaging, they experienced confused customers who were seeing different messages on their print and social media content. From there, the company’s social media team now works to keep consumers aware of the brand. Now, it’s almost impossible to not recognize a piece of Michael Graham property.

Let’s unify your messaging! If you’re interested in cultivating brand awareness for your company, Uptown Girl Media is ready to create content to support you. Email us today at contact@uptowngirl.media, and we will set up a complementary consultation.

You’re Only Hurting Yourself

Written by Allison Herrera

Many people use social media as a tool in terms of boosting a brand. But, many people become impatient, desperate or are simply uneducated on social media (which is totally okay – that’s why people hire us, the professionals on all things digital marketing)…and that results to purchasing fake followers, likes, comments and the usage of bots…AKA EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETER’S NIGHTMARE. When you partake in these unethical practices, you’re only hurting yourself…for MANY reasons. Today, I’m touching on only seven reasons inauthentic engagement (fake followers, bought likes/comments, bots) is *serial* killing your social media page.

Loss of Integrity & Reputation

Your company’s integrity and reputation should be more important than your “popularity” online. By purchasing more followers, you give off the impression that your brand is more mainstream than it actually is. But unless you’re Kylie Jenner, rising from 0 to 3,000 followers in a matter of days tends to make people suspicious…which reflects on your integrity and reputation.

Your audience is even becoming savvier in spotting what raises red flags on social media accounts, which includes fake followers, bought likes/comments and bots. There are even guides out online, which help users decipher what accounts are trustworthy. What it all simply boils down to is engagement.

The lack of engagement on an account is what reveals whether your account is authentic or not. Organically grown Instagram accounts tend to follow engagement patterns. Here are the average engagement rates for genuine Instagram accounts according to Markerly:

  • < 1,000 followers average about 8% engagement
  • 1,000 – 10,000 followers average 4% engagement
  • 10,000 – 100,000 followers average 2.4% engagement
  • 100,000 – 1 million followers average 1.8% engagement
  • > 1 million followers average 1.7% engagement

If your level of engagement is either significantly above or significantly below these numbers, people will question your brand’s worth, which is why you need to continuously engage with your audience, share quality posts and work on attaining genuine followers who resonate with your brand. You can also typically spot fake engagement by comparing the ratio of likes to comments on the photos somebody shares.

Just as if you have a significant number of followers, yet an incredibly low engagement; you can raise suspicion if you buy likes. Why? Because it can push your engagement statistics outside an acceptable range.

Genuine brands build their following organically. Although this takes time and much work, you will be happier in the long run by not losing credibility from taking shortcuts. If you are dishonest online, your followers will begin questioning whether or not you are also dishonest in other areas of your business.

Fake Followers = No Engagement

Like I said earlier, inauthentic accounts are detected simply by analyzing engagement. Engagement is key when running successful social media accounts and campaigns. We always tell our clients that followers and likes are always nice, but they don’t necessarily result in a sale…engagement is what leads to that money, honey! So, fake followers/likes are worthless if you’re looking for a return on investment.

Fake followers don’t actually engage with your account, and if you’re a brand, you want to influence your followers to buy a product or service. If your followers don’t engage with you, you aren’t influencing them in any way. Bought followers also don’t actually see anything you post, which lowers your engagement. This ultimately provides zero results when selling products or services to your target audience on social media.You want genuine followers who are actually interested in your brand and, at the very least, look at your posts.

Social media algorithms also thrive off of user engagement…but with fake followers, fake likes/comments and bots, your engagement rate is off, due to the inauthenticity and lack of strategy. Social media accounts analyze your posts through an overall engagement rate – the percent of people who…

  • Saw your post
  • Liked your post
  • Saved your post
  • Commented on your post
  • Sent your post to other followers
  • Clicked on your post/profile

The above, in turn, determines how many more followers see your posts from there. When you buy likes or comments, your content is now more unlikely to be seen, which hurts your overall reach. This now opens another can of worms…

Unreliable Data and Wasting Ad Money

When creating a marketing or communications campaign, we always look at who our targeted demographic is and peep at our audience. Unfortunately, if you engage in practices with fake followers, bought likes/comments and bots, your demographic data is now skewed, which results in unreliable marketing efforts. Paying for engagement on your social media page will then cause confusion in terms of proper strategy. These problems include…

  • Understanding who your consumers are
  • Developing long-term strategy
  • An inability to connect with authentic and engaged users
  • The capability to create impactful campaigns
  • A proper schedule in terms of when your audience is most active

Due to the reasons above, you end up wasting ad money with fake engagement. The purpose of an ad campaign is increasing the number of impressions and promoting engagement. But, if your page is comprised of fake followers, fake likes and fake comments, your ad money will promote your content by targeting that audience – FAKE spam accounts and FAKE uninterested accounts, who don’t even see your content…they just “like” it.

Why does that happen when running ad campaigns? Because ad campaigns go off of ENGAGAMENT in order to resonate with interested audiences. If your engagement is inauthentic, your ad will reach inauthentic accounts, which continues promoting inauthentic engagement. It’s a hamster wheel that’s a headache and a half to get off of. Because of these issues, paying for engagement on social media is not be the best return on investment.

There’s No Profit

You don’t earn money using fake followers, bought likes/comments and bots. Hasn’t this clicked by now? In fact, there’s a higher chance you will lose money due to…

  • People discrediting your brands integrity and reputation due to dishonesty online
  • Instagram can purge your “followers” and suspend inauthentic accounts

The purpose of having a social media page for your brand is to sell your product or service. By falsely boosting your numbers, you have no strategy to sell. Your data is unreliable, your ad campaign money is wasted, your credibility and reputation are tarnished, etc. None of your fake followers or bots will generate leads or follow your call to actions by clicking on your website. Inauthentic engagement doesn’t buy products, purchase services or promote your brand. If you have an uneducated audience, all your fake interactions yield to is making it seem like your brand is bigger than it actually is.

As I already touched on, automation ends up hurting your brand more than anything. Many people believe that if you have tons of followers, other brands or consumers want in with what you’re offering, but that is 110% false. Remember when I said engagement is everything? I wasn’t joking. People are now taking note when it comes to engagement rates; and, as I previously said, people are becoming savvier when determining what accounts are authentic and organically promoted. As social media marketing evolves, brands and consumers have access to more tools and knowledge that deciphers fake engagement from the real deal.

Unlike genuine followers who will purchase products or actively promote your brand and refer you to other customers, fake followers will do nothing of the sort. Instead, you’ll spend money on dormant accounts that won’t provide any return on investment. You’ll even end up spending more money than planned due to social media vigilance.

With Instagram on the lookout and actively removing fake followers/accounts, you set yourself up for failure, because you end up constantly buying them back to keep with appearances. By the time you know it, you’ve lost more money than intended. That money could have been better invested in more genuine marketing efforts; but hey, what do we know 😉

PR Nightmare

Bots are exactly what they are called…robots! So, they don’t receive social cues from a post’s context or a caption beneath a photo. Instead, they generate comments based on hashtags, which many people don’t know how to properly use.

Bots can sometimes provide a Public Relations nightmare through their fake and overly enthusiastic comments on behalf of your account. For example, no one wants to see “Nice!” under a Black Lives Matter post saying, “I can’t breathe”. So. Inappropriate.

Generic comments from bots on behalf of your account can sometimes land on the wrong post, may link to a distasteful account, provide no value in terms of connecting with potential clients and are anything but genuine. Don’t forget, your actions are visible online. So, that “million-dollar client” might be turned off from an inappropriate like or comment.

Organic engagement is key. Although bots are used to “boost engagement”, you you’re your engagement to be true to your brand, tasteful and to properly reflect your standards. You’re better off putting in the time instead of money, when it comes to authentic interactions. This way, you and your team can strategize what accounts to engage with, how to engage and use your authentic voice.

Unethical – Instagram Can Purge Your Followers & Suspend Your Account

Although there is no “Internet Police”, it is unethical to buy followers, likes or use Instagram bots, because you are ultimately lying to your audience. Buying fake followers and likes are also against Instagram’s Terms of Service. Instagram discourages buying followers and likes because it goes against why the app was created – to cultivate authentic connections. Instagram merely wants members to have an pleasant user-experience and encourages users to be present and upload posts/engage with other users in real time.

As a result, Instagram purges fake followers and can also suspend accounts involved in such practice…which then looks incredibly bad on your brand if it’s suspended due to dishonest practices. Perhaps Instagram will slap you on the wrist the first time they suspect you of engaging in unethical practices, but they won’t be so forgiving a second time. At least, if they catch you.

Instagram wants its members to have an enjoyable user experience. Therefore it puts quite some effort into finding and eradicating false accounts. Instagram makes regular purges, searching for fake accounts. They have considerable experience of finding fake accounts and know all the signs to look out for.

According to Instagram’s former Community Evangelist Jessica Zollman, Instagram has a team dedicated to identifying spam. Since 2014, Instagram purged millions of fake followers from many accounts on Instagram in order to generate more authenticity on the platform.

Bought Followers Bring Spam

When you buy fake engagement, you open your account up to spam posts. Some purchased followers are sometimes disguised as spam. This might affect your Instagram account, or any other accounts associated with it, like your email address. Any opportunity for spammers to spread their spam is fair game after you open the gate.

Closing Thoughts

Let’s use social media what it was intended for – to build genuine relationships and connections with your audience through engagement. Although purchasing followers, likes and comments may be seductive and the use of bots gives an allusion of saving you time, all this fake engagement does is hurt…you’re only hurting yourself. Think about the long run when working with social media. It’s always better to have a small, focused and active community than a bunch of fake followers that will never interact with or buy from you. So, remain genuine online, and don’t sell yourself short. If you have any questions about social media, email us today at contact@uptowngirl.media. We’d love to help you out!

How Covid-19 Shifted Marketing Strategies

Written by Allison Herrera

The “new normal” is isn’t so “new” anymore…and if you haven’t pivoted your marketing strategy since Covid-19 hit, you’re going to fall behind in 2021. Due to this pandemic, consumerism is changing quicker than evolution planned, and it will never look the same. In our opinion, it shouldn’t. Why? Because our priorities as a society are shifting.

Increased Internet Traffic

Based on research, The New York Times revealed what most of us already assumed: the “coronavirus has changed the way we internet.” Our tolerance for screen time has never been higher, and that’s not likely to change. Neha Singh, managing director of marketing and innovation at BAM Communications, says, “During most crises, marketing teams are the first to go, but this crisis is different. Right now, Internet usage is up by 50 to 70 percent.”

In order for brands to keep up with consumers’ 50-70% increase of Internet usage, brands must double down on engagement efforts. Organic marketing is key when it all boils down to Internet traffic. That means, you may need to revisit your approach to organic traffic.

Organic Marketing

During this time, Singh says, “customers may not be buying,” due to many financial reasons, thanks to Covid-19. But, customers, “are engaging” online, according to Singh. This means your digital presence needs to be pushed consistently, especially since more people are spending time online, as we previously mentioned. As cities progress into higher phases, consumers are coming back, which is why it’s critical for businesses to shift their marketing strategy into a plan that best reflects and meets your clients’ needs AND keep the company’s focus on marketing – ready to capture consumers once again. Along with selling a product or service, events are also pivoting, which shifts interaction.

Most in-person events are now online, where engagement with a target audience is crucial. You’re now competing for your viewer’s attention…which isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Organic marketing assists in effectively capturing your audience.

Although some events are back to being held in person, participants are also encouraged to engage through digital means. Both in-person events encourage interaction online, such as checking in at locations or tagging companies in pictures posted online.

How can you boost organic connections and build brand trust?

Provide relevant content
Updating what products/services you offer
Addresses client concerns


This is a wonderful time for experimentation, when it comes to digital marketing strategies. Just like advertising as a whole has shifted, so have brands. For example, outdoor brands probably have a new audience, due to an increase in outdoor activities. Another example is a shift from eating out to eating in – more people are probably ordering more food delivery or takeout, due to capacity limits in restaurants. Do you see how your product or service may remain the same, but outside forces shift the “who”, “when”, “how”, “where” and “why”? Hence, it’s a great time to experiment, and companies will, “need marketers who can stretch your dollar and who aren’t afraid to experiment,” according to Singh.

Us humans are also craving interaction, whether it’s online or (safely) in-person. But, due to an increase of online screen time, companies should focus their efforts on digital marketing and shift interaction from in-person to online. This is where organic marketing comes into play.

Marketing strategies should now move forward on the basic idea of using content to create powerful connections online and kicking off conversations. Quarantine has taught us that online conversations are just as impactful as face-to-face interactions. If chefs are hosting cooking classes through Zoom and bands are hosting virtual concerts on Facebook Live, brands also have a broad range of resources and opportunities to connect with communities. By humanizing your brand and communicating to consumers about their deepest concerns and innermost thoughts, you can cultivate an ongoing conversation, even among those who may not be financially ready for your product/service.

Covid-19 impacted the advertising industry long-term, as successful marketing accelerated a shift to digital. Due to Increased Internet Traffic, brands must shift their efforts to digital marketing strategies, through Organic Marketing and Experimenting. As brands work on striking a balance, marketing strategies reflect success based on how brands adjust and improve their digital marketing efforts. If you need some direction with pivoting your marketing strategies, especially when it comes to organic marketing and experimentation, we can help! Send us a message here, and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Why, When & How – IG Live

Written by Allison Herrera & Caroline Legrand

Using IG Live is a great option right now, while life as we know it is still mostly digital. It allows you to connect with your clients and followers in real time. The best opportunities for using IG Live allow you to…

  • Share a promo
  • Show a behind the scenes
  • Or even share what working from home looks like right now…and it lets viewers ask questions while you’re filming that you will be able to answer on the spot

There are many different avenues that you could touch on while sharing. For example, you can share products for clients to view and educate viewers on programs you offer. You can also share intel for students or other professionals in your industry. Lastly, you can promote a networking alliance or simply provide an authentic connection for followers, in order for you to organically grow.

Hopefully these questions or people seeing a face and hearing a voice will provide connection and produce a possible client, or at least a sale. Remember, our goal at the end of the day for businesses on social media is to convert viewers into clients.

IG also notifies followers that you are going live and boosts your video in the stories to gain views. It can also be saved and highlighted for others to look back on. Surprisingly, live videos have the highest rated organic interactions on Facebook, so it may be worth it to look into going live there as well. Don’t believe us? Click here to see a breakdown of Facebook Live stats.

Live video isn’t going anywhere, and the future of social media is leaning more and more towards video content (think about the popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels – click here for our blog post on Instagram Reels). Whether it’s pre-recorded or live, video is king when it comes to content…and knowing how or when to utilize it is key. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at contact@uptowngirl.media – we would love to work with you!

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